In this short report we will discuss the topic “Can I reuse candle wax?” and will know more about different ways wax candles are made. We will also discuss the types of candles that are available in the market and their eco-friendly nature. On a fine note, we will discuss in detail the different ways the candle wax can be reused.
How does a factory make candle wax?
Candles have long been used by many countries, but most were restricted to religious purposes. There were references to the use of candles in many religious books and candle making was a popular occupation throughout Europe. The first candle was made from wax extracted from vegetables or animals followed by the use of beeswax.
However, with the fishing industry booming after the Revolutionary War, waxes for candles were made from whales called spermaceti and used to serve many purposes other than for making candles. However, with various independent studies now we are mostly using paraffin, a mixture of hydrocarbons derived from petroleum and is mostly white. Other than being inexpensive, paraffin also can hold fragrance and colors.
One important parameter that makes it most liked by the industries is that we can tune the melting point of these waxes and thus make the different types of wax candles. Wax candles are one among the easiest to make with simple cooling of the melted paraffin. This cooling happens either when they come in contact with air or to a cold surface, a process called candle pressing.
However, to give it shape and design it is poured in a mold with the wick inserted in it. These wicks are mostly made of twisted cottons and passed through melted paraffin to make it stiff. However, in an industrial process, the melted paraffin wax is cooled to wax flakes before inserting into the mold and once into the mold these are pressed using pressure but no heat to get into the shape of the mold.
The home-made candles are a fun activity for many. However, here we just melt the wax and pour the liquid paraffin into a mold and wait to cool it down. Since paraffin wax are petroleum based, burning candles made from them emits smoke that are known to emit toxic chemicals, a study reported in 2007. Hence, new inventions have made candle wax from an alternate naturally available resource. Some of them are:
- Soy wax
- Palm wax
- Coconut wax
- Rapeseed wax
- Gel wax
Photo Courtesy: iStock. Different Candles
Can I reuse candle wax?
No matter how many times you melt the wax it can be solidified at room temperature to make a new candle. The left-over candles that are of no use when the wicks are burned off can be melted again to make a small candle. Different wax materials can also be mixed and melted together to make the new candles.
However, if you are more particular about the fragrance of the candle then it could be remelted for a limited number of times as the fragrance has limited shelf life. Using the leftover candle to decorate the wall or a picture frame is a great way to go. The different designs and shapes can be either carved out of the wasted candles or the melted candle can be poured in already designed molds.
Wall hanging with different colors of candle can be made to add beauty to your living room. Waxes are used for many purposes other than just for making candles. These find application in packaging, coatings, cosmetics, food industries, adhesives, making crayons etc.
Photo Courtesy: iStock. Candles
How do you reuse leftover candle wax?
Leftovers can be used in many ways by just letting your great mind generate wonderful ideas. Some have used candle wax to seal the letter with amazing century old designs. Many like to collect the leftover candle and color them using melted crayons to make a brand-new rainbow candle.
There are many do it yourself crafts videos that give great ideas for reusing the leftover candles some of which are amazing for your daily houseworks. Materials such as cotton, linen, hemp, jute, paper, zinc, tin or even wood can be used as a wick for the candle. Mostly commonly strings of cotton are used as these are easily available. Even strings from your cotton cloths can be cut out to the desired length and used for making wicks. To make a candle wick, first melt the wax in a container and dip the wick in it.
Some people add salt to the melt while making the wick as this helps in stiffening the candle wick. Also allow the string to completely cool off after coating with wax which can be done by keeping it in open space overnight.
In this short report we have discussed the topic “can I reuse candles?” by highlighting the demand and consumption of candles worldwide. We have further discussed how candles are made and the different types of wicks used in the candle. Finally, we have included details of different types of wax available in the market and how to reuse a candle that is wasted.
Frequently asked question (FAQs): Can I Reuse Candle Wax?
Can you remelt wax beads?
Wax beads are the most preferred beauty treatment for many and gaining more popularity in beauty salons. These help remove hair from sensitive areas with much less pain than the traditional waxes. Wax beads are melted and applied on skin which after hardening is pulled off and the hair comes along with it.
These types do not need any strips and can be applied with a spatula. However, after the treatment most of the left-over wax is wasted as most of it gets contaminated during treatment. This is what happens in salons which deal with different customers. But if you are using the wax beads at home then you can remelt the left-over wax as you will be the only user then.
How can I reuse a candle without a wick?
The candle stops burning once the wick is completely burned off. If you still have some of the candle left, use materials like toothpicks, spaghetti, or paper towel as an alternative to the burned wick. Some people reuse the left-over candle after the wick is burned off to make a new one.
Collect all the wasted candles that do not have wick and melt it slowly. You can add some coloured crayons to add some brightness to the candle. This can be then poured into a mold with the wick and you get your own homemade personnel candle.
Can you use a toothpick as a candle wick?
Toothpick can support the uneven burning of the candle wick but it cannot be used alone or in place of a candle wick. This is because they are not long enough to completely go down the length of the candle and being non-porous, they do not take up the wax causing them to extinguish easily. However, using a toothpick along with the wick will brighten the flame of the wax candle which short wicks are not able to do.
Can you microwave candle wax?
Microwaving the candle wax is completely safe and most households prefer to do this way as the process is easy and fast. Microwaving should be done on a solid wax with a slow increment of temperature. Initially check for 30 seconds and see if it’s melting, then you can go ahead with one or two minutes depending on its volume.
Try not to over health as it will be difficult to handle and may take longer to cool off. For any method of heating candle wax try not to put on direct heat as the temperature may rise suddenly, and it will produce extremely flammable vapors. For an effective and safe melting of candle wax, a double boiler is the best way which uses two pots and melts using the steam from the water below the pot. This way it does not directly heat the candle.
Can you melt wax in a glass jar?
Yes, you can melt wax in a glass jar but try to avoid direct heat to the glass material as it may break the glass. The best method is to place the glass in hot water with wax in it and wait for it to melt slowly. This way you will not burn off the wax in the jar and it will melt uniformly. Mix some coloring agents or use crayons of your favorite color to make some bright colored candles.
This should also be allowed to cool slowly and placing a hot glass directly in cold water will break it contaminating the wax as well.
Is making wax melts profitable?
With the development of the digital and electronic era, we no longer see candles as the only source of light provided at night. Candles used to come in handy when there is power shortage or if you have not paid your bills. Still some rural areas where electricity has reached depends on candle or oil lamps as a source of light at night.
This does not seem a strong reason for the growth of the candle industry, but we do see a booming market for wax candles. This is because there is a huge demand for wax candles as a luxury item and decorative gifts for your loved ones. Its rising popularity in restaurants for its use during candlelight dinner and the scented candles near your bathtub is what is driving the economy towards the candle production industries.